Entertainment Weekly


Stay Connected


Advertise With Us

Learn More

Skip to content


The Flash recap: Potential Energy

Can Barry and Patty’s relationship survive the might of…the Turtle? (He’s more intimidating than he sounds)

Posted on

Katie Yu/The CW

The Flash

TV Show
run date:
Grant Gustin, Danielle Panabaker, Candice Patton
The CW
Current Status:
In Season

Slow and steady wins the race — and it also proves to be invaluable when stealing priceless artifacts. As long as slow and steady describe your metahuman powers, of course.

The latest threat to Central City is actually one Cisco has been chasing since the heyday of the Reverse-Flash’s reign of terror, and only Barry’s been in the dark about this pet project. And while the 30-something Metahuman Not-a-Ninja Turtle presents the clear and present danger during “Potential Energy,” it is the looming threat of Zoom that has Barry truly worried. Unfortunately, his inner turmoil is outwardly affecting his relationships, particularly with Patty, while the Wests contend with drama of their own.

“Potential Energy” finds Barry and Patty in a good place — other than the flaming roses, of course — but their date goes awry when Zoom zips onto the scene, grabs Patty, and throws her off a roof.

It’s all just a dream, but it’s a recurring nightmare Barry fears will come to pass, that Zoom will find and kill the ones he loves. And more than that, Barry won’t be fast enough to stop him.

Patty is certainly no ditz, and she knows something is consuming Barry’s thoughts, but it’s the particulars she’s fuzzy on. She even seeks Iris’ advice on how to crack the code that is Barry, the man who runs around with the weight of the world on his shoulders. She attempts to break through, and Barry admits that the holidays bring back the memories of his mother’s murder. Patty understands because for any non-human, that explanation would be more than enough to explain away the tossing and turning.

But there’s still the matter of Barry’s superhero identity hidden away, and Iris suggests to Barry it may finally be time to tell her. And in a nice piece of meta-dialogue, Iris admits how problematic it was to keep her in the dark for so long last year.

So Barry decides now is the time to bring Patty into the fold, and what better time to do so than in the midst of a metahuman trap. Team Flash is on the hunt for the Turtle, a meta Cisco has been tracking for months. The Moby Dick to his Captain Ahab, the Turtle has the ability to slow down time around him, appearing like a blur to those caught in his wake when he is in fact moving at a normal speed.

He steals expensive items not for their monetary value but for the personal weight they all carry, and while Barry thinks capturing a baddie with a nickname like “Turtle” will be a breeze, their first encounter is a slow-mo torture session. At CCPD, the Turtle freezes the scene, including the Flash, whose fast-moving particles allow him to at least somewhat move in the midst of the Turtle’s waves of slowdown mojo.

The team finds the next likely target for the Turtle at an art show, to which Barry invites Patty along (after realizing the scheme interferes with their date plans). Cisco is on board for Barry revealing his secret to her, though Caitlin has her doubts, and Harry outright tells Barry to protect Patty and not involve her in this side of his life.

WANT MORE? Keep up with all the latest from last night’s television by subscribing to our newsletter. Head here for more details.

Barry initially moves forward with his plan, showing up dressed to the nines with Caitlin and Jay at the art show. (Cisco and Harry, ever the enjoyably mismatched duo, are stuck on surveillance van duty, where Cisco learns just how Zoom got his name, putting Cisco in his place for mocking the moniker he didn’t invent.)

The night is smooth sailing at first — Patty appears and almost knocks Barry off his feet (she very well may have, and he just too quickly picked himself back up for any of us to notice), and the two begin dancing in a scene full of much more chemistry than whatever is happening between Bruce Wayne and Diana Prince in this photo.

As narrative fate, would have it, though, just as Barry is primed to reveal his secret to Patty, he spots the Turtle in action. Barry rushes off to change from his penguin suit into his superhero one, reappearing on the scene just as Patty spots the Turtle stealing a painting. She draws her gun, but the Turtle uses his powers to disarm her and possibly seal her fate.

NEXT: Is this the end for Barry and Patty?